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Seasonal variation of plant nutrients in raspberry patches under different cultural treatments Wood, John Jex 1932

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SEASONAL VARIATION OF PLA.M KUTBIMTS IIT RASPBERRY PATCHES 1  IMDER DIFFER EST CULTURAL TREiTMPTS.  by  JOIST JES WOODS.  A Thesis submitted f o r the Degree of Master of Science i n A g r i c u l t u r e i n the Department of H o r t i c u l t u r e .  (Xttcepted  THE UHTTERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April  19 3£.  TABLE OP OOITMTS.  Page Introduction  1  Parpose o f Experiment  1  Review of L i t e r a t u r e  2  Procedure 1. P l o t 2. P l o t 3. S o i l 4. S o i l  Arrangement Treatment...... Samples Analysis  3 6 9 10  •  Presentation of Data.... 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.  Conductivity Reaction of S o i l S o l u t i o n Hitrates Phosphates Potassium. Calcium Magnesium Sulphates Bicarbonates. Chlorine  12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21  Discus sion. Summary.  22 ••  26  Acknowledgment s.  27  Literature Cited.  28  )  SEASOHAL VARIATION OP PLAJW HTOSIMfS HI RASPBERRY PATCHES IWDER DIPFEREFT CULTURAL TREATMENTS.  mxom<mm.  During past years a considerable amount of experimental work has been done i n regard to the value of f e r t i l i z e r s and cover crops for orchards.  Numerous results have been reported showing the affect of  different manorial treatments - i n many instances the response, part i c u l a r l y to seme nutrients, has been negative. On the other hand, i n many f r u i t growing sections, certain f e r t i l i z i n g practices have proved beneficial and have been adopted by a large number of progressive orchard!sts.  While work along such lines has progressed rapidly with  tree f r u i t s , a survey of the literature as regards small f r u i t s Indicates that there i s very l i t t l e concrete evidence as to the value of manorial treatments and a comparatively small amount.of l i t e r a t u r e i s available on the subject. PURPOSE OF EXPERIMENT. In the Mission Hatzic d i s t r i c t of British'Columbia there are upwards of 700 acres devoted to the production of raspberries.  Growers  in t h i s d i s t r i c t are confronted with the problem as to the best method of maintaining or increasing f e r t i l i t y , particularly as barnyard manure i s available i n only limited amounts. The experimental plots which are discussed hereafter were planned to throw seme light on t h i s subject. They were brought into being by the writer at the Dominion Experimental Farm, Agassiz, B.C., and are l a i d out on the grounds of that institution.  RE7IM OF LITERATURE.  A review of l i t e r a t u r e on manorial treatments gives very l i t t l e definite information on the subject, most authorities recommending heavy applications of barnyard manure. Cover Cropping i n Raspberries i s not generally practiced and there i s l i t t l e definite experimental evidence as to i t s value and practicability.  I t offers considerably greater disadvantages i n berry pat-  ches than i n orchards,as to an appreciable extent i t interfers with picking,  p a r t i c u l a r l y i n that i t holds the dew u n t i l late i n the morning.  Quite often also during the berry season showery weather prevails. Chandler (6) quotes Pickering as having obtained marked response with barnyard manure at 30 tons to the acre and slight response with mineral f e r t i l i z e r s .  Dyer and Shrivel according to Chandler (6) obtained  better results with 12.5 tons of manure to the acre than with complete fertilizers.  Chandler (7) reports i n treating raspberries with nitrogen  increased growth and vigor of plants but only a slight aid not  correspond-  - 3  irtg increased y i e l d .  -  Wallace (20) reports raspberries growing i n plots  show a marked f a l l i n g off where nitrogen,potassium held.  and calcium are with-  Hoblyn (10) more recently has reported that a proper balance be-  tween nitrogen and potash i s the secret of successful manuring i n raspberries, nitrogen up to a point may produce more cane l y  i t s e l f but  has never increased the crop except i n the presence of potash, alone i t has been depressing i n tvo- tests.  Sulphate of potash lafoich has always  been beneficial i s on the -sfeole superior to k a i n i t .  Time and application  of potash depends upon kind and season.  PLOT ARHAH&EBIEIT.  In the spring of 1930 an area 230 feet by 140 feet was l a i d out i n twenty-four plots distributed uniformly over four blocks and planted to Outhbert raspberries. Each plot consists of two adjacent 50' rows each containing 20 plants, with buffer rows planted on each side of each plot.  Hows are spaced 7' 6" apart.  The area was clean cultivated i n  1930.  In 1931 were commenced manurial treatments consisting of rye,  vetch and clover cover crops, plots treated with manure and complete f e r t i l i z e r the sixth plot receiving no manurial treatment and referred to hereafter as a check.  These treatments are replicated once i n each  of four blocks and plots are allocated so that the maximum distribution i s obtained over the whole area. A seventh plot was treated with nitrogen only.  A treatment  - 4 -  of t h i s nature was not o r i g i n a l l y planned and i s consequently not i n cluded i n the main area, immediately adjacent however are additional rows of herries and from t h i s location the s o i l samples referred to helow were taken.  The s o i l as far as a superficial examination i s concern-  ed i s identical and the area i s divided into four blocks as referred to above. These plots are not included i n the following diagramatic sketch, they l i e however to the right of each block as indicated and are one row removed from the f i r s t block, two, three and four respectively from the End, 3rd and 4th blocks.  5 FIGURE I. Dia grama t i c Sketch of Hajmrial Plots.  3 4  6 7 8  X  S  9 10  •  •  X  X  11  12  •  13  14  15  X CD  Clover  X  5  o 43  CD  !=>  u  CD  16  17  18  19 x Block I  X  Check  2  Pertilia  1  15 Foot Headland x  •  X  •  X  x\  B  »  •VI  Pi  CD  x Block I I  u  CD N •rl H  CD  4  >  s  T. CD  -  u  o *>  CD  O  © O  15 Foot Headland x Block I I I  u  CD N 'rl  M  3 to  *l o  tCO  u  CD o o  xi  •o  tD  43  CD  (54.  15 Foot Headland X  •  X  •  u  CD  CD  U  w  o O  #-4  x  x Block IV  u  •  •3 •S  CD « •rl i-4 •Al -P rl  ! xi o  xl P CD  CD  Indicate buffer rows. Indicate position from which s o i l samples were taken.  - 6 -  PLOT TKEkTMMT.  The manurial treatments were as follows e.g.  block one :-  Rye was seeded between rows 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4. Olover was "  "  "  Vetch  n  «  "  "  4 and 5, 5 and 6, 6 and 7. 7  a n d  8 j  s and 9, 9 and 10.  Manure was spread between rows 10 and 11, 11 aid 12, 12 and 13. F e r t i l i z e r was "  "  "  13 and 14, 14 and 15, 15 and 16.  Hows 1 6 - 1 9 received no treatment. The treatments referred to were commenced i n 1931.  Well rotted  manure was applied at the rate of 12 tons 891 l b s . per acre on March 28. Complete f e r t i l i z e r (5-10-6) was applied at the rate of 750 lbs. per acre on A p r i l 3. Hltrogen plots were treated with an application of nitrogen equal to that given i n the complete f e r t i l i z e r .  Hye, Vetch  and Clover were seeded respectively a t 112, 112 and 20 l b s . per acre on May 19.  Plots which were not cover cropped were cultivated during the  growing season to keep down weeds. The amount of such growth was not greater than that ordinarily found on well cared for plots.  The area  as a whole was ploughed on A p r i l 4, disced A p r i l 20, hoed May 13, c u l tivated May 20, hoed August 10, disced August 13.  Eye was disced down  July 21 at which time i t had passed the most desirable period showing a tendency to become strong after discing.  The remaining plots other than  vetch and clovers were disced at the same time, these l a t t e r plots were  turned down August 13, at which time they were i n ideal condition for green manuring. A physical examination of the s o i l shows i t to he a fine s i l t carrying with i t a considerable amount of clay, a fact which i s indicated both by the amount of moisture present under maximum and minimum moisture conditions and the somewhat sticky properties after r a i n f a l l .  The  surface s o i l i s approximately six inches i n depth, beneath t h i s layer there i s a somewhat coarser and lighter colored s i l t and from a depth of 18" to 24" there i s a layer of sand and gravel.  The previous cropping  history of this area i s as follows:The land was cleared i n 1914-15. Thereafter there was practiced a four year f i e l d rotation i n such a manner that i n 1929 there was growing a f i e l d of corn, i n 1928 the area was i n pastureland, im 1927 i n hay and i n 1926 i n oats. A l l hoed crops were f e r t i l i z e d with barnyard manure. The area i s of a degree of f e r t i l i t y that corn, potatoes and root crops make a ready response to applications of complete f e r t i l i z e r s . Shutt (18) analyzed s o i l from the Experimental Farm i n 1893 and reported as follows:Water  3.24$  Potash  .33 $  Organic Volatile Matter  6.96$  Soda  .17 $  Phosphoric acid (undetermined) Carbonic acid  .25 $  Hitrogen  .148$  Clay and Sand  75.14$  Oxide of Iron and Alumina 10.83$ Lime Magnesia  .94$ 1.48$  .46 $  - 8 He reports the s o i l as being rather light though possessing a f a i r amount of clay, i n potash s l i g h t l y above average, i n nitrogen and phosphoric acid containing amounts equal to those of good average f e r t i l e s o i l s and somewhat deficient i n lime. A l l plots were harvested during the summer of 1931.  The follow-  ing table gives the yields obtained. TABLE I. Plot  Block I Lbs. ozs.  Yield.  Block I I Lbs. ozs.  Block I I I Lbs. ozs.  Block I? Total Lbs. ozs. Lbs. ozs,  Rye  21  3  21  4  20  7  27  6  90  8  Glover  22  13  17  13  29  12  30  13  101  3  Yetch  19  8  27  11  21  8  25  0  93  11  Manure  21  13  28  11  24  10  17  15  93  1  Fertilizer  22  14  25  3  27  12  25  7  101  4  Check  24  0  16  8  33  1  24  15  98  8  Total  132  3  137  2  157  2  151  8  The respective yields cannot be d e f i n i t e l y taken as an i n d i cation of results of plot treatment.  The results are only those of the  f i r s t cropping year and there was some unevenness of stand of canes which leaves a margin of error for this factor.  Ho cane counts or measurements  have been taken, from observation however i t i s apparent that f e r t i l i z e d plots have given the most vigorous growth.  SOIL SAMPLES.  I t was o r i g i n a l l y planned to take s o i l samples over a period of one year at two monthly intervals, weather conditions however prevented taking the proposed sixth sample the t h i r d week i n January 1932.  fhe  method used to obtain samples, was that outlined by Russell (15). Between each pair of rows i n each block 9 two inch cores to a depth of s i x inches were taken, 3 cores at one end adjacent to one row, 3 cores midway between rows and the remainder at the opposite end diagonally across from the f i r s t .  Reference to Figure 1 w i l l i l l u s t r a t e the method. This system  was repeated for each treatment i n each block. A composite sample was mixed, a i r dried, sifted through a three millimeter sieve and stored away i n paper bags.  The f i r s t sample from each treatment was taken on March 14  before any manurial treatment was given and i s referred to as sample one. The second was taken on May 20 and i s referred to as sample two, the remainder were taken on July 23, September 23, November 24, March 13, 1932, and are referred to respectively as samples 3, 4, 5 and 6. At each respective date as referred to above moisture determinations were made, the s o i l samples being taken from the same area each time, namely at a given point i n the headland between blocks one and two. Sample 1, March 14 contained 29.6$ moisture. "  2, May  20  "  25.1$  "  3, July  23  "  22.4$  " " "  4, Sept. 23 5, l o v . 24 6, Mar. 13  " " "  24.4$ 27.5$ 27.5$  " w  "  - 10 The maximum moisture content determined was 23.9% i n January and the minimum £2.4$ f o r uncropped land and f o r cropped land, vetch cover crop 17.7%.  The following figures supplied by the Experimental Farm, Agassiz, give the monthly precipitation i n inches and the mean temperature i n degrees Fahrenheit f o r the period January 1931 to March 13, 1932. Prec. inches  Mean Temp.  Jan.  5.07  43.15  Feb.  4.03  Mar.  Prec. inches  Mean T  Sept.  4.80  57.79  41.64  Oct.  2.05  51.69  5.96  45.35  Eov.  8.40  39.35  Apr.  5.14  52.53  Dec.  7.70  36.47  lay  3.44  58.04  Jan.  9.42  33.61  June  4.48  60.43  Feb.  14.69  36.41  July  .64  64.44  Mar.  2.38  41.81  Aug.  .13  63.55  SOIL ANALYSIS. The data which follow were obtained to get information on the available plant nutrients during the f i r s t year of manorial treatment, to show the affect of such treatment and to show under what degree of natural f e r t i l i t y the various applications might bring about a response to growth and y i e l d of raspberries. A l l the analyses were made i n the horticultural laboratory of plant n u t r i t i o n , University of B r i t i s h Columbia between  - II January 4 and March 30, 1932. The method of obtaining the s o i l solution i s that outlined by Burd and Martin (2) which shows that using the methods adopted "compacted s o i l s tend to become completely saturated during displacement and that the mechanism of displacement consists i n an actual translocation of successive layers of l i q u i d . "  Further reference i s also given by Burd and  Martin (3) i n 1924. I t i s of some interest to note here that the average time required to displace the s o i l solution was from three to s i x hours and that i n the seven displacements made using s i x tubes at a time samples taken i n March 1931 and March 1932 were without exception the slowest by an average of !•§• hours to be displaced, and that samples taken July 23 were without exception the fastest. It might appear that lack of nutrients i n March were responsible for this circumstance, when however i t i s considered that nutrients were also low i n July this theory cannot be accepted. ITo efforts were made to determine the cause of t h i s condition. A l l d i s placements were made at a moisture content of 27$.  The determinations made on the s o i l solution were:E l e c t r i c a l Conductivity. pH, e l e c t r i c a l l y , using a pH indicator with a quinhydrone electrode. The following ions were determined colorimetrically with a K l e t t Top Reader colorimeter:-  - 12 Nitrates by the phenoldisulphonic method (1), Potassium as outlined by Cameron and Failyer (5), Phosphates by the ammonium molybdenum blue method (12), and magnesium as outlined by Hubbard (8). Chlorine and bicarbonates volumetrically (1).  Calciiaa and sulphates as outlined by  Richard and Wells (14).  PRESENTATION OF MTA. CONDUCT P7TTY - TABLE 2.  •ggB#wr#ff44if' of S o i l Solutions under Different Treatments. A  Soil Dates S o i l Samples Taken Treatment Mar.14 May 20 July 23 Sept.23 Nov. 24 1931 1931 1931 1931 1931  Total for Mar. 13 Treatment 1932  Rye  7200  1350  2100  3525  5100  7800  27075  Clover  7800  1950  5700  2100  4500  6700  28750  vetch  7200  2325  4950  3000  3550  7350  27875  Fertilizer  4950  1125  2250  2100  3150  7950  21525  Manure  5250  1650  2175  1875  2175  6450  19575  Nitrogen  4650  1420  2250  2175  3000  7500  20995  Check Mean Average  4125  1875  2625  1875  2850  6450  19800  5311  1671  3150  2379  3475  7171  In the above table the figures indicate a close relationship between the t o t a l concentration of ions as determined i n the different analyses which follow:-  - 13 REACTION OF SOIL SOLUTION - TABLE 3. pH Values of S o i l Solution under Different Treatments.  Soil Treatment  Dates S o i l Samples Taken 1fer.14 ]Say 20 1931 1931  July 23 1931  Sept.23 1931  Fov.24 1931  Mean Ave. for Ifer. 13 Treatment s 1932  Rye  5.4  5.3  5.8  5.9  6.0  5.5  5.65  Clover  5.5  5.5  6.3  6.0  5.8  5.5  5.77  Vetch  5.8  5.7  5.8  5.7  5.8  5.5  5.72  Fertilizer  6.0  5,9  6.1  5.9  5.9  5.8  5.93  lanure  5.9  5.7  5.7  5.8  5.8  5.9  5.80  Hitrogen  5.9  5.8  5.9  5.7  5.8  6.0  5.85  Check  5.8  5.7  5.7  5.6  5.6  5.8  5.70  5.76  5.66  5.90  5.80  5.80  5.70  Meant  Average  The mean average figures give some indication that the higher pH values prevail during summer and that higher values are obtained from plots growing no cover crops.  - 14 IITRATES - TABLE 4. F i t r a t e s i n S o i l Solution i n Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment  Dates S o i l Samples Taken  Total for  8fer.l4 1931  May 20 1931  July 23 1931  Bye  4  428  62  155  89  15  753  Glover  3  169  23  272  105  23  595  Vetch  6  197  117  202  133  15  670  Fertilizer  43  346  151  295  172  18  1025  Manure  84  557  238  346  216  19  1460  nitrogen  93  415  254  295  177  17  1251  Check Mean Average  91  399  221  399  199  51  1360  46  359  152  281  156  23  Sept.23 1931  Nov.24 liar. 13 Treatment 1931 1932  The above table indicates a definite trend i n seasonal fluctuation of n i t r a t e content with maximum values i n the spring and f a l l .  Rapid  spring and summer growth of plants i s considered as being responsible for the low July concentration.  There i s also evidenced a lower nitrate con-  tent i n those plots treated with cover crops than those receiving other cultural treatments. There i s less nitrate under clover than i n any other plot.  PHOSPHATES - TABLE 5. Phosphates i n S o i l Solution In Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment Rye  Dates S o i l Samples Taken Sfer.14 1 I t 81 7,80  May 20 1931 5.90  July 23 1931 6.76  Sept. 23 1931 6.66  Hbv.24 Mar. 13 1931 1932 6.76 7.15  Total for Treatment 41.03  Clover  6.82  7.32  6.99  6.99  6.82  8.84  43.78  Vetch  6.48  7.00  7.70  7.76  8.15  8.97  46.06  Fertilizer  8.89  9.25  9.62  9.81  10.00  9.42  56.99  Manure  5.74  6.36  7.15  6.61  6.73  7.00  39.59  nitrogen  7.84  7.84  8.86  6.92  7.84  8.71  48.01  Check  5.47  7.62  7.62  7.62  7.62  7.62  43.57  Mean Average  7.01  7.33  7.81  7.48  7.70  8.24  The high value for phosphates i s not presumed to he due entirely to the presence of t h i s ion, i t being reasonable t o assume that a certain amount of s i l i c a t e i s present as no efforts were made to remove such material.  The seasonal concentration does not fluctuate i n any definite way,  neither i s there conclusive evidence that any one treatment i s superior to another. Application of complete f e r t i l i z e r has given the highest t o t a l value, these plots however gave the highest concentration before any treatment was applied which tends to n u l l i f y t h i s affect. The same may be said of nitrogen plots. A further examination of the table shows that the concent r a t i o n i n the check plots has remained more stable than that of any other treatment indicating that there has been less interference i n ionic r e -  - 16 latiomship than where manurial applications have been made. POTASSIUM - TABI.E 6. Potassium i n S o i l Solution i n Parts per M i l l i o n ,  Soil Treatment  Bates S o i l Samples Taken  Total for Treatment  Mar.14 1931  May 20 1931  Bye  7  16  6  10  9  7  55  Glover  3  14  6  12  10  9  54  Yetch  7  12  10  12  7  8  56  Fertilizer  7  17  12  12  9  8  65  Manure  7  22  10  20  11  5  75  Nitrogen  9  25  11  19  11  9  84  10  1.5  12  15  11  8  71  7.1  17.1  9.5  14.3  9.7  Check Mean Average  July 23 Sept.23 1931 1931  Nov.24 Mar. 13 1931 1932  7.7  Concentration of potassium has shown definite seasonal fluctuations similar to that indicated by nitrogen with highest values for May and September. Plots cover cropped have shown a lower concentration than those otherwise treated and though the difference i s small clover shows a lesser amount than any other treatment.  I t i s also to be noted that the nitrogen  treated area has given the highest potassic value.  CALCIUM - TABLE 7. Calcium i n S o i l Solution In Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment  Dates S o i l Samples Taken  Total for Treatment  Mar.14 1931 70  May 20 1931 302  Clover  37  117  50  87  52  24  367  Vetch  44t  105  82  80  74  22  405  Fertilizer  60  151  122  80  106  31  550  Manure  85  250  107  136  118  20  716  Fitrogen  88  138  88  88  78  32  512  Check  74  173  132  76  97  26  578  Mean Average  65  176  96  90  87  25  Bye  July 23 1931 89  Sept.23 HOT.24 Mar.13 1931 1931 1932 86 82 21  650  Calcium has not shown a seasonal trend l i k e nitrogen, the highest concentration being present i n May with a gradual decline progressing with the season. There i s some indication that the concentration under cover crops i s less than under plots without such treatment.  The exception  to t h i s condition i n the above table i s from the rye plot which appears somewhat abnormal i n calcium concentration f o r the May period. again shows the minimum value for this ion.  Clover  - 18 MAGSESIPM - TABLE 8. Magnesium i n S o i l Solution i n Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment Bye  Mar.14 1931 7  Dates S o i l Samples Taken Total for May 20 July 23 Sept.23 Nov. 24 Mar.13 Treatment 1931 1931 1931 1931 1932 23  9  7  6  4  56  5  7  6  8  5  4  35  Yetch  14  32  14  21  19  3  103  Fertilizer  11  29  13  7  9  5  64  7  20  16  13  11  6  73  25  21  27  31  21  19  144  4  14  14  8  13  4  57  20.9  14.1  13.6  12.0  6.4  Clover  Manure Nitrogen Check Mean Average  10.4  Magnesium shows the same general "behavior as calcium as regards seasonal trend, values becoming less as the growth period advances from lay.  Individual treatments taken by themselves show some variation i n  this respect from period to period, the trend however i s as mentioned. Clover again shows the tendency to either suppress or u t i l i z e larger quantities of t h i s ion than any other treatment.  The high value for March  1931 appears abnormal, nitrogen, plots show a higher total value for magnesium than any other treatment.  - 19 SULPHATES - TABLE 9. Sulphates In S o i l Solution i n Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment  Mar.14  Dates S o i l Samples Taken May 20 July 23 Sept.23 ffov.24  1931  1931  11  22  9  Tetch  1931  Total for Mar. 13 Treatment  1931  1931  9  17  11  8  78  8  8  8  5  6  44  17  10  8  8  8  6  57  F e r t i l i zer  15  36  36  32  12  7  138  Manure  14  13  8  10  7  6  58  Uitrogen  10  8  11  11  10  7  57  Cheek Mean Average  10  10  10  33  11  4  78  12  15  13  17  9  6  Bye Clover  1932  When a l l plots are considered there i s a higher concentration of sulphates f o r May and September than for the July, Hovember and March 1932 periods. When plots are taken individually no definite conclusions can r e l i a b l y be drawn due to inconsistent fluctuations.  Quite opposed to what  has preceded, i n four of the seven treatments, March 1931 concentration has exceeded that of May f o r which no adequate explanation i s offered. Plots treated with clover show the lowest concentration.  - 29 BICABBOHATES - TABLE 10. Bioarbonates i n S o i l Solution i n Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment Mar.14 1931  Bates S o i l Samples Taken l a y 20 July 23 Sept.23 Iov.24 1931 1931 1931 1931  Total for Mar. 13 Treatment 1932  Rye  29  22  37  27  27  29  171  Clover  51  27  37  24  24  17  180  Fetch  29  17  27  20  22  17  132  fertilizer  39  29  41  24  24  24  181  Manure  34  27  27  27  27  29  171  nitrogen  46  44  A A  XT3Z  34  37  37  242  Cheek  34  27  29  29  54  24  197  Mean Average  37  28  35  26  31  25  Proa the above table i t may be deduced that when ions previousl y mentioned are low bicarbonates are high and vice versa, March 1932 being excepted. This ionic relation pertains more particularly to n i t r a tes and potassium.  I t i s again to be noted that plots treated with cover  crops have a lower concentration than plots not so treated and that nitrogen treated areas show increased bicarbonate value over that of any plot.  - 21 CHLOBUE - TABLE 11. Chlorine In S o i l Solution i n Parts per M i l l i o n .  Soil Treatment Mar.14 1931  Dates S o i l Samples Taken May 20 July 23 Sept.23 Nov.24 1931 1931 1931 1931  Mar.13 1932  Total for Treatment  Rye  32  14  16  14  10  30  116  Clover  24  36  12  16  12  34  134  Tetch  26  24  14  10  20  28  122  Fertiliser  22  48  42  16  12  28  168  Manure  20  28  22  18  14  32  134  Nitrogen  20  22  16  10  18  26  112  Check Mean Average  24  18  22  12  12  24  112  24  27  21  14  14  29  l o satisfactory explanation presents i t s e l f i n regard to the data on chlorine when a l l ion periods are compared.  I f t h i s ion i s a product  of precipitation climatic conditions would demand that concentration of this ion he higher i n September and November than i n July.  On the other  hand i f the periods from May to March 1932 are used as a basis of comparison i t may be concluded that concentration declined during the period of growth due to penetration of ions and that accumulation did not take place again u n t i l after November. During the season of 1931 Cuthbert raspberries increased cane growth both as regards length and diameter u n t i l the beginning of December,  -  zz  -  DISCUSSION,  In the foregoing pages data have been presented on the concentration of ions of nitrates, phosphates, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphates, bicarbortates and chlorine under different methods of manurial treatment.  (There has been with a l l ions excepting bicarbonates March  1931 a lower value during the winter months November to March than at other seasons of the year.  The conductivity, table 2, indicates  seasonal r i s e and f a l l of ions potassium.  a  particularly nitrates, sulphates and The s o i l type and climatical conditions  lead to the b e l i e f that a very considerable amount of leaching takes place during t h i s winter period.  Due however to the satisfactory growth  conditions that prevail the s o i l i s considered to be one of a high "comeback power." This condition manifests i t s e l f sometime between the middle of March and the middle of May and meteorological data would indicate that increased temperature and decreased precipitation accompanied by increased a c t i v i t i e s of s o i l organisms would bring about such a condition. The time of most rapid growth i s from May 24 to June 30 and nitrates i n particular are taken more rapidly from the s o i l solution than they are formed, concentration again r i s i n g in the September period.  To a lesser  extent the same condition i s applicable to potassium and sulphates. Calcium, magnesium and chlorine show a tendency to decline i n concentration from a high point i n May as the season progresses.  Hussell  (16) states that nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are absorbed rapidly i n the early stages of plant l i f e , f a l l i n g off thereafter, calcium absorp-  - 23 t i o n on the other hand increases as plant growth continues. Phosphates have indicated no seasonal trend, tending to remain constant more especi a l l y so when there has been no other cropping or f e r t i l i z i n g .  Bicar-  honates tend to exhibit high values at periods when other ions are low and vice versa, particularly as regards nitrates, bicarbonates having formed to maintain the s o i l solution i n equilibrium. Lyon ,Heinicke and Wilson (11) at, Cornell have shown a low spring and a high f a l l concentration of nitrates under orchard conditions and lower under sod than under clean cultivation.  Proebsting (13) at Davis,  C a l i f o r n i a , has shown a similar seasonal trend with values lower under a l f a l f a than i n check plots;  calcium, magnesium and sulphates showed com-  parable behavior while potassium concentration remained practically unchanged. Burd and Martin (4) analyzed s o i l solutions before and after growing an oat crop and one year later.Ehey found the potassium content ed lower^ immediately after cropping.  Sears (17) i n I l l i n o i s states that un-  productive s o i l s are due to two main factors low available potassium and an excess of nitrates, straw improving plant growth by adding potassium and decomposition increasing denitrifying s o i l organisms. In dividing the treatments into two groups, plots growing cover crops and plots receiving other methods of treatment data are presented which show that green manuring lowers the concentration of ions.  Smith  and Humfeldt (19) found the concentration of nitrates much lower under growing crops than under fallow and lower under vetch than under rye. I t i s evident from the results obtained that under cover cropping there  - 24 are fewer available plant nutrients i n the s o i l solution, consequently when f e r t i l i t y i s low green manuring i s not desirable and that clover exerts a greater drain than does either vetch or rye.  It i s not however  reasonable to conclude that green manrar&sg i s entirely detrimental.  In  the various plots so treated there was no indication e f a starved cond i t i o n and eventually those ions which are absorbed from the s o i l solution are returned, partly to be leached out during winter months, part to be u t i l i z e d the following year.  Bate summer and winter cover crops would  appear to be of greater value when there i s a p o s s i b i l i t y that such growth would deplete the s o i l solution to the detriment of the companion crop, or under conditions when there i s already an apparent condition of starvation of which there are many indications i n the main berry growing sections of B r i t i s h Columbia. Where moisture supply i s low cover crops w i l l also absorb amounts injurious to berry plants. The application of manure, complete f e r t i l i z e r and nitrogen has not s i g n i f i c a n t l y changed the total amounts of plant nutrients present nor the seasonal fluctuation.  There i s evidence however that application  of nitrogen has appreciably increased potassium, magnesium and bicarbonates in the s o i l solution.  This increased amount would appear to be due to the  fact that n i t r i c acid has been formed thus bringing into solution greater amounts of potassium and magnesium. Hoblyn (10) has referred to the necessary balance between nitrogen and potash to obtain satisfactory growth.  The additional nitrates added would also appear to have increased  root growth or root a c t i v i t y , thus bringing about a greater discharge of  - 25 carbon dioxide which has formed the bicarbonate.  I t may also be assumed  that on s o i l s which have been cropped f o r a long period without any fert i l i z e r that applications of such materials would be of greater value than under the conditions of t h i s experiment when growth at the outset has proved satisfactory.  Furthermore applications of phosphates and pot-  assium would tend to maintain quantities of these ions i n their original state while green manuring would maintain or increase the organic matter and so induce the growth and a c t i v i t y of s o i l organisms. The s o i l reaction has shown a lower pH value under cover crops which may be explained by reference to table 7 where i t has been shown that calcium content i s also lower under such treatments.  Hoagland (9)  states " i t i s doubtful whether the a c t i v i t i e s of the plant i n the absorpt i o n of ions ordinarily bring about d i r e c t l y an increase of acidity i n the s o i l , " concluding that the bicarbonate ion i s proportionately increased and tends to maintain the reaction near the neutral point. F i n a l l y i t i s anticipated that similar laboratory tests w i l l be repeated at a later date, that the foregoing data w i l l be a basis of comparison for future analyses and that yields from plots may be correlated to the concentration of available plant nutrients.  - 26 -  SCBBMSHT.  1.  Data have been presented showing the concentration and fluctuation of eight different ions.  2.  Results indicate a high spring value for these ions:  3.  That there i s a definite seasonal r i s e and f a l l i n concentration of n i t r a t e s , potassium, sulphates and bicarbonates:  4. That calcium,magnesium and chlorates tend to diminish as the season progresses: 5.  That under cover crops there are a smaller amount of plant nutrients present and fewer under clover than under vetch or rye:  6. That addition of complete chemical f e r t i l i z e r has not apparently i n creased the t o t a l amount of ions present but that the addition of nitrogen has increased the concentration of potassium, magnesium and carbonates i n the s o i l solution. 7. That the pH values of the s o i l solution are higher i n summer than at other seasons and higher i n plots where no c°ver crops have been grown.  - 27 -  A O K F O f L E  H I E I I S ,  The writer gratefully acknowledges the assistance many helpful suggestions of Dr. C.H.  and  Harris, Faculty of Agriculture,  University of B r i t i s h Columbia, under whose guidance the  laboratory  procedures were carried out. He also wishes to express his appreciation to Dr.  A.F.  Barss, Professor of Horticulture, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, for kindly interest shown i n the progress of the work and to Mr. W.H.  Hicks, Superintendent of the Dominion. Experimental Farm,  Agassiz, B.C.,  for making i t possible to carry out the f i e l d plot  tests, for the information on the early cropping history of the area and for climatological data.  - 28  LITERATURE CITED.  (1  American Assoc. of Agri.  Chemists (A.O.A.C.} Washington, D.C.  (2  Burd J.S. and Martin J.C.,. Water Displacement of Soils and the S o i l Solution. Jour. Agri. S c i . Vol. 13, 1923.  (3  Secular and Seasonal Changes i n the S o i l Solution. S o i l S c i . Vol. XVIII. Ho. 2, Aug. 1924.  (4  Concentration of S o i l Solution. S o i l S c i . Vol. 18, 151-1924.  (5  Cameron and Failyer.  (6  Chandler W.H., Fruit Growing, Houghton M i f f l i n Co., Cambridge Mass. 1925.  (7  Jour. Amer. Chem. Soc. 25: P. 1068.  Some Hesponses of Bush Fruits to F e r t i l i z e r s . Proc. Amer. Soc. Hrt. S c i . 1921.  (8  Hibbard P.L., Methods of Chemical Analysis, University of California, 1923.  (9  Hoagland D.R., The Effect of the Plant on the Reaction of the Culture Solution, University of California. Tech. Paper Ho. 12-1923.  (10) Hoblyn T.H., The layout and Conduct of Two Manurial T r i a l s of Raspberries. Jour. Pom. and Hrt. S c i . 9. Ho.4. Dec. 1931. (11) Lyon T.L., Heinicke A.J. and Wilson B.D., The Relation of S o i l Moisture and Hitrates to the Effects of Sod on Plum and Cherry Trees. Hew York, (Cornell) Agri. Exp. Sta. Memoir 63,1-27. (12) Parkes F.W. and Fudge J.F., The Colorimetric Determination of organic and inorganic phosphorous i n S o i l Extracts. S o i l Sci.24: 109117. (13) Proebsting E.L. Concentration of Certain Constituents of the S o i l Solution under Orchard Conditions. Hilgardia Vol.5 Ho. 3, July 1930. (14) Richard and Wells., Amer. Jour, of Chem. Vol. 27, p. 459. (15) Russel  E.J. S o i l Conditions and Plant Growth. Longmans Green and Co., Toronto 1927.  - 29 -  (16) Russel E.J., S o i l Conditions and Plant Growth. P. 91. Longmans Green and Co. Toronto 1927. (17)  Sears O.H., nitrates and Crop Hesponse to Potash. Soil Sci. 30: 1930.  (18) Shutt F.T., Heport of the Dominion Chemist, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa. 1893. (19) Smith H.R. and Humfeldt H., The Decomposition of Green Manures Compared to the Decomposition of Green Manures added to Fallow S o i l . Jour. Agri. Res. Oct. 15-1931. (20) Wallace T., Experiments on the Manuring of Fruit Trees. Jour. Pom. and Hrt. S c i . 5:1925.  

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